Two artists have exhibits at the Sunshine Coast Arts Council’s (SCAC) Doris Crowston Gallery in Sechelt for the next five weeks, with collections of work that are in palpable contrast – from the grim and heart-rending to the whimsical and thought-provoking.
In the latter category, Pippa Lattey’s Between a Lamp, a Log and a Bucket, is on display in the gallery’s two main rooms. The works are composed of discarded and likely forgotten objects, which the Vancouver artist collected during a two-week exploration of the Coast in May. Among the dozens of pieces of detritus are an eight-foot length of pipe, a smashed acoustic guitar, a black Croc shoe, children’s beach pails, the base of a desk lamp, and a Santa hat.
So, what’s this all about? Lattey suggests that her work can reveal the ignored, intrinsic value in the things we toss and forget, which she’s giving a kind of second life, repurposed as art.
“I think about how objects end up somewhere, whether human intervention made that thing end up there, and either intentionally or not,” Lattey said in an interview. “We shape the world and we’re not even aware of it. I take the individual objects and imagine the stories that they had, and just appreciate them for what they are. Generally, what I am doing with my art practice is trying to make people look at things differently.”
Meanwhile, the Arts Council has formally added new display areas in a former office room and in the hallway and small alcove outside the main gallery, now called The Back Gallery and Project Space. They offer local artists an opportunity to show one, smaller body of work.
The first exhibition in these areas is Refugees: Lives Behind the News, by Halfmoon Bay artist Penny Dunford. Most of the works in the exhibit, which also extends into an anteroom off the main gallery, “are inspired by real-life photos spanning several years and the staggering statistics that tell the full story,” SCAC said in a release. “They are used in mixed media collage pieces or provided inspiration for paintings or sketches.”
Dunford, moved by the world’s chronic refugee crises, told Coast Reporter she has spent about two years on this project. She has deftly used 30 10-by-10-inch canvas boards, “combining each of the 30 articles of the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights with current photos showing that there is still much work to be done.”
The exhibitions run until Aug. 15.